Beginning her second year in Newspaper, Reshma Hakani has high prospects for this academic term. As a student who typically prefers mathematical subjects that provide concrete answers, a writing based class isn’t really her forte. However, her experiences as both a woman and a Muslim have taught her that it’s important to share her ideas with the world.
Society today is still patriarchal and the perspectives of women and minorities are often overlooked, so despite the fear of trying something that she isn’t accustomed to, she perseveres in an attempt to continue speaking up. To her, trying new things is a part of everyday life, and instead of being fearful of the unknown, one should focus on what they can learn from the experiences they gain. According to Reshma, “Life is all about growth and change. Maybe that’s why I’m a little inconsistent in the stuff I do because I don’t like routine as much.”
Just last year, Reshma tried out for Parkview’s Track and Field even though she wasn’t fond of running in any way. Knowing that she was making a choice she might later regret, Reshma decided she still wanted to continue running, as success comes from consistent practice and training. Disregarding the fact that she would always fall behind everyone else, she continued to attend practice in hopes that she could get better.
Eventually, she did quit, but left the club with a sense of satisfaction, as she had the courage to try something she hated doing. New opportunities are not always abundant, and for that reason, all opportunities should be valued.
While it’s often difficult to grasp one’s own identity, Reshma is someone who has learned to understand it. With the help of her culture, religion, and family, she’s developed an identity of her own.
Much of Reshma’s personality and interests stems from the fact that she’s Indian. She loves watching Bollywood movies, listening to Bollywood songs, and eating Indian food. She’s also an Ismalli Muslim, and over the course of quarantine, she’s become more in tune with her religion. For Reshma, quarantine was the light at the end of the tunnel, as it provided her with much needed time to spend at her mosque, Jamatkhana. Being there grants her a sense of belonging, as well as a sense of peace.
At school, she often feels as if she’s just an outsider who’s looking in, but at Jamatkhana, she can feel at ease. In a world where instability is always around the corner, she relies on her faith to ground her and keep her at bay.
Although her religion plays a major role in her sense of identity, it is not the only role. She surrounds herself with people who inspire her and motivate her. People are all products of their environment, and Reshma is no different. Her family and friends all play a part in shaping her identity. They constantly urge her to “be the best version” of herself and encourage her. With such a positive environment to support her, it comes as no surprise that Reshma herself is equally as kind and encouraging. No matter the circumstance, she is always willing to brighten the moods of those around her.
Through her perspective of the world, Reshma believes she will continue to learn and grow through trying new things while having the people she loves to back her up.